Blind Visitors 'See' Famous Paintings

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June 1, 2015

A museum exhibit in Madrid is encouraging visitors to touch the art works.

Hoy Toca el Prado, at the Museo Del Prado, is a presentation of replicas of six masterpieces, with added three-dimensional textures so that blind visitors can feel features that suggest such details as skin, hair, and clothes. Among the replicas is the famous Mona Lisa. The replicas were created specifically for sight-impaired visitors, and the augmentations also include express attention to the detail in the various colors and hues in the paintings.

Visitors can learn more about what they are “seeing” by reading Braille text on the wall beside each exhibit and by listening to an audio tour.

The exhibit, the brainchild of Bilbao-based graphic arts company Estudios Durero, caters specifically to sight-impaired visitors, but people who are not sight-impaired can don special opaque masks, to approximate the “real thing.”

Other masterpieces on display are these:

  • The Parasol, by Francisco Goya
  • Nobleman with His Hand on His Chest, by El Greco
  • Vulcan’s Forge, by Diego Velazquez
  • Noli me Tangere, by Antonio da Correggio
  • Still life with artichokes, flowers and glass vessels, by Juan Van der Hamen.

The museum has, in the past, unveiled exhibits that catered to deaf visitors, as well as exhibits for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. 

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